Posted by: LovelyAnomaly | July 6, 2009

3 million stories

Chicago is a lovely city.  However, there are days when Chicago completely exhausts me.  And not in a oh-my-gosh, rush-to-catch-the-El-on-time sort of exhaustion.

In my home town, there’s a really good chance that I know who’s in the car ahead of me while driving down Main St.  When I’m checking out my groceries, I know the clerk–I used to be his babysitter.  In fact, my grocery trip probably took 20 minutes longer than necessary because I’ve bumped into at least 3 people that I haven’t caught up with in a while.  In our small town, it’s okay if you forget to use your blinker–everyone knows which street you need to turn onto anyway.

Most days I can allow myself to sink into the anonymity of Chicago, like when I weave through the crowds of people on the sidewalks.  But at other times, it all comes rushing in.

When I sit on the El, I can’t help but wonder what everyone’s life story is.  Are they a Chicago native, or maybe they’re just like me?  Are they having a good day?  What are they avoiding today; what are they completely head-over-heels excited about this evening?  A million little questions flicker through my brain like announcements on a marquee.  It’s exhausting.

It tugs at my heart strings a little, realizing that there are so many lives out here with a story that I’ll never get a chance to hear.  Lives that I hope aren’t going unnoticed, because to me they all seem so fascinating.



  1. i grew up in a town like that too. middle of nowhere, montana. and since then, it feels like i’ve been a little of everywhere in places that were a little of everything. the number of people in this world alone fascinates me– the people we end up connecting with? mind blowing. you think about it and you know there must be some really good reason you’ve found the people you have.

    • Seriously! It makes me cherish the friends I have, but wonder what else I’m missing out on.

  2. I love the anonymity of Chicago but I always love hearing people’s stories too. And if you ask, they’re always happy to tell 🙂

    • Yeah! I always hold my tongue when I’m sitting next to people on the train, but I’m betting that by the end of the summer I’ll talk to someone.

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